This Broadway gem was $4. This is the second appearance of this production this month. If you want to learn more about its legacy, I would suggest doubling back to that post, watching the video below, or just going straight to Google for your queries.
As the video so neatly states, Fiddler came out at a precarious time for musicals (1964). With the arrival of the Beatles, rock and roll became the dominate force in popular American music. Before this, pop music was musical theater. It was a tectonic shift of sorts but as a result, musical theater would re-invent itself in the second half of the sixties as well as later decades. Anyway, despite this trend, the songs from Fiddler were a smash hit (along with the musical itself) and remain so to this day, a testament to their place in Broadway history.
Zero Mostel originated the role of Tevye on the stage. However, during rehearsals, Mostel feuded with director/choreographer Jerome Robbins, due to Robbins testimony in front of the House on Un-American Activities Committee. The original production also featured Maria Kanilova as Tevye’s wife Goldie as well as Bea Arthur as the matchmaker.
The show, which opened Sept of 1964, was a massive success with a run of 3,242 shows, the first Broadway production to run over 3,000. For awhile, it became the longest running show on Broadway. Today it ranks #16 of all time. The production also won 9 Tony’s including Best Musical. Numerous revivals and productions have been staged around the world as well.
For a sample, I went with what is probably my favorite song from the production and one that due to being an ensemble piece, does not make it on many of the Fiddler records I find. That would be “Tevye’s Dream” whereas to convince his wife let their daughter marry the tailor, Tevye concocts a dream whereas their dead relatives come back from the dead to warn of ill consequences should their daughter marry the butcher. Pretty macabre stuff. Again, there were a lot of great moments on this record but I fear a may not get another chance to post this song again.